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Study programme

Media and Culture

The Bachelor's Media and Culture provides you with the necessary skills to critically examine contemporary themes such as the mediatisation of everyday life, the digitisation of film and television, the evolution of screens across different platforms, the globalisation of media production and consumption, media and affect, media and representation, media in relation to memory and politics, and many more.

Programme structure

In this programme you are introduced to a wide range of basic concepts in Media Studies and become acquainted with the most important features of contemporary media. You can either choose to follow a trajectory that focuses on a particular type of media and a specific methodological approach (either television, cross-media, or film studies) or make your own programme that combines a selection of these courses. Alongside the core programme, you specialise by choosing courses from a range of electives, and/or pursue a minor. The programme also allows (and encourages) you to study abroad for a semester, or to do an internship.

  • The first year

    The first year of the programme will give you a broad, general overview of the entire discipline of Media Studies.

    • You will learn how our everyday lives are shaped by, with and through media.
    • You will take courses that cover a broad range of topics and that introduce you to the most important features of contemporary media and concepts in Media Studies and media analysis.
    • Right from the start, you will have the opportunity to choose specific topics that interest you in many of the courses.
    • During the Media Research course, you will learn how to use the appropriate methods to conduct your own research on a topic of your choice that you select from a range of research themes on offer.
    • You will explore and analyse contemporary issues in media studies in small-scale, research-oriented seminars.
    • You will conclude the first year with a portfolio containing your own creative, self-made media products – essays, videos and/or media collections – in order to demonstrate that you are able to apply academic concepts and analytical skills through practice (the making of media) as well as in exams and through writing. 
  • The second year

    In the second year of the Media and Culture track, you decide whether you would like to focus on the in-depth study of film, television or cross-media culture. You can also opt for a combination and take on a broader approach to contemporary media culture, by selecting courses from the different tracks.

    • You engage and analyse the various movements, methodologies, and the most important innovations in the history and future of film or television studies, and explore the implications of digitisation.
    • You study the social and cultural role of media and learn how to critically analyse and assess films, television programmes and cross-media culture.
    • You acquire (theoretical and practical) knowledge about the ways in which different media shape our experience of space, time, reality and virtuality, and even our interaction with other people. You will take an additional course in the philosophy of the humanities to help you think through the construction and mediation of reality.
    • You work with a small group of fellow students to create a short film, documentary or a television programme in a practise-based course. In this course, you will learn to apply your research skills, conduct research, learn to work with equipment and work in a studio.
    • You will explore the role of media in and across different cultural and global contexts.
  • The third year

    In the third year of the programme, you work on your specialisation and tailor the programme to your own interests. You also write the final Bachelor’s thesis.

    • You will have the opportunity to use your elective credits to pursue your research interests, or to complement your degree with a semester of studying abroad, or taking on an internship for a semester.
    • You can choose to specialise in a second major, opt for a minor in a related field or an altogether different discipline or take electives in a wide range of subjects, both within the department of Media Studies, within the Faculty of Humanities, or other faculties at the University of Amsterdam. You can also take electives at other Universities in the Netherlands or abroad.
    • You conclude the degree with a graduation programme that counts for 18 ECTS and includes writing a Bachelor’s thesis.
  • Learning and assessment

    Media and Culture is a three-year Bachelor’s degree that consists of 180 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits. Each academic year accounts for 60 ECTS spread across two semesters, with each semester comprising two 8-week blocks and one 4-week block of classes.

    As a Bachelor’s student, you are expected to spend an average of 42 hours a week on your studies.

    • In your first year, 12 to 15 of those hours will be spent attending lectures, while in your second and third years you will have approximately 8 to 10 hours of class.

    • The remaining time will be spent on self-study, preparing for lectures and seminars, completing coursework and assignments, as well as exams.

    • You will attend both lectures and small group seminars.

    • Lectures generally introduce the main topics of the course, discussing and explaining course readings and literature.

    • In the seminars, you will work closely with your fellow students, collaborating on assignments, presentations and talks.

    • You will be tested by means of written and oral exams, presentations, essays, reports and assignments.

    • Your final grade for a course is determined by the results you receive for each of these.

  • Honours programme

    Highly-motivated students may qualify to take part in a selective honours programme. This programme accounts for an additional 30 ECTS and will help familiarise you with various other aspects of academic research and prepare you for a subsequent Research Master's degree.

Detailed course information

Visit the UvA Course Catalogue for a detailed overview of the Media and Culture programme, including which courses you can take and when they take place.

Study Schedule: Media en Cultuur